I have killed more succulents than I would wish to admit—some of them by overwatering and some underwatering. And if you are like me, the rate of watering your succulents is still an undetermined formula. No matter how long you have been a succulent plant owner. Keep reading to learn how to water succulents.
How often should you water succulents?
Try to water your succulents at least once a week. This will enable them to store up enough water in their leaves for use in the course of the week. Please give them a good soaking by watering them until excess water drains into the excess water tray at the bottom.
This factor is also dependent on whether your succulents are indoors or outdoors. If they are outdoors and live in a dryer area, you may need to water them more often. You may not need to water them weakly if it rains regularly.
How to water succulents
Watering succulents is not an exact science. The amount of water and how you water them is not cast in stone. But to enable them to go longer without needing watering will require a proper watering session.
- Use your finger to check if the pot’s soil is dry before watering your succulents to prevent overwatering them.
- Pour the water on the succulents. As most of them are hardy, they will not become affected if you pour water directly on them.
- Do not use high water pressure to water your succulents as most of them tend to have shallower roots.
- Douse them in water until the soil is completely soaked. This will ensure they have enough water stores to keep going for at least a week or so.
- Remove any dead leaves to prevent rotting as most succulents are sensitive to mold.
- Ensure your succulents are potted in perforated pots to drain excess water. This will prevent their roots from rotting.
- Remove any dying branches or leaves to reduce water wastage of the plant’s stores.
Signs that you are overwatering your succulents
- The leave start cracking
- The leaves turn black, yellow, or translucent
- The leaves become mushy or shriveled.
- The leaves start dropping
- The stem is rotting
To revive an overwatered succulent, reduce the number of times you water it until its leaves start to recover to allow it to use up the excess water stored in the leaves. If the stem is already rotting, then there is little you can do in this case. Otherwise, remove any dead leaves and branches. You can also switch the plant to a well-draining potting mix to reduce water retention in the soil.
Check this too: How Much Light Do Succulents Need
Signs that you are underwatering your succulents
- The leaves become wrinkled
- Dead leaves at the bottom of the plant
- Flat leaves dues to diminished water storage
Fortunately, fixing an under-watered succulent is easier than an overwatered one. To revive an under-watered plant, douse it in water to increase its water storage. You can also move the succulent to a shaded area to minimize water loss.
How long can succulents go without water?
On overage, succulents can survive for two to four weeks without water. After this period, the succulent will start shedding excess leaves and branches to save water usage.
After this, it will slowly start dying.
The exact number of weeks or days a succulent can survive without water is dependent on the type of succulent, weather conditions, soil used to plant the succulent, and the size of the succulent.
A succulent that is grown under direct sunlight will die in a shorter period that is grown in the shade as it will not lose water due to evaporation or dehydration. Some hardier succulents such as cactus can survive more prolonged periods without water.
Move your succulents to a shaded area if you are not in a position to water them regularly. This will reduce water loss due to dehydration and evaporation. Minimize watering your outdoor succulents if it is raining to avoid overwatering them. Doing it every few weeks is advisable. Lastly, ensure the potting mix used is well-draining to minimize water retention, as this may cause the roots to rot.